I haven’t written one of these posts in a long time. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been having the best of times lately. Low mood and frustration have featured heavily, although determination has been there in big amount too. Turning determination in motivation and action has been extremely hard.
I daydream about being able to get more fitness in; what the healthy weight me looks like; the attitudes and behaviours I need to adopt – but I then struggle to put them into action at the right time. I get caught in the though trap of thinking I don’t have enough time, then not using the time I actually have to pursue what I want – craziness!
The only thing getting in my way at the moment is me!
So I’ve been using a site called Moodscope to monitor my thoughts. You sign up for free and then score yourself against different emotions/feelings from ‘not at all’ to ‘extremely’. There are both negative and positive prompts and I find it really interesting to see how my overall score varies over time. You have to score twenty prompts so I never remember exactly what I put for each one (and that would be something I think I would find even more interesting than the overall score) which get translated into a percentage score.
The longer I’ve kept my scores (you do it every day) the more interesting and useful it is to me. I can watch my score go up and down over time and spot the trends. Also if I have a low score I know I need to do something to stop it reducing further by the next day. It is a check on how I’m feeling, in which there is no point lying. It has become the first thing I do when I get to work as it’s a really good stop and check for me before getting drawn downwards. If I acknowledge how I’m feeling I can put actions in place to help myself. If I don’t I can make myself worse without realising.
Dealing with depression or low moods is unique to everyone. What works for me, might not work for you. I am a data person. I like to see trends and monitor things over time. I’ve been trying a lot of different tools with CBT, but find them time consuming and not always easy to do on my own. That is my main worry about when I reach the end of my sessions through the NHS. I need to make this a change in my behaviour too – to make time for the things that are important for my mental health.
I like snappy little tools that I can access and do quickly. The one thing that would make me like this a lot more was if they made it into an app for smart phones. I think I would then do it more often as find that there are times when it would probably good to take a second to score my mood, but am not able to access the website.
Sometimes it’s the little things that remind me there are a lot of things that do make me happier and content and stop me dwelling on the things that make me low.